When Steven Soderbergh quit filmmaking for (approximately) two and a half years, he made an interesting comment about wanting to direct big-budget projects. Soderbergh, a proven box-office draw with his Ocean’s Eleven franchise, has often been called in to discuss big action spectacles and sci-fi adventures, but he’s never been handed the reins, largely because of the control over creative decisions and editing which producers and studios require for all big-budget projects. This wouldn’t be such a problem if it wasn’t clear that many producers and higher-ups at studios have absolutely no interest in genuine creativity, artistic ambition, or even movies in general. Money and fame, on the other hand, they know quite a bit about, but even then, not as much as people in those chairs should.
So, it was at once a disappointment and not a huge surprise that, according to The Playlist, Soderbergh, following a screening of Haywire and a Q&A at Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Theaters, admitted that he had been approached to helm a James Bond movie. In fact, they asked him about it twice. Here’s what he said exactly:
“Over the years, I’ve been in conversations…I’ve been approached twice about doing a Bond film. And it never quite got anywhere. And [‘Haywire’] in some ways, was my opportunity to do what I would do with a Bond movie.”
If that’s the case, can someone please, pretty please, let him direct the new one? Haywire is, without a doubt, one of the ten best action films to be released this decade, decked out with sublime transitions, a fantastic cast, and some of the best fight scenes to ever be put to film, even in the age of The Raid. And look, I get it, it’s really important that James Bond movies be just exciting enough to not to put me to sleep, in the name of the franchise’s unconvincing classiness, but c’mon!
Soderbergh went on to talk about his attempts to make a Haywire sequel, and even a Haywire TV show, but that neither developed that far because the world is a cold, horrible place. He also discussed how getting “fired” from Moneyball – which still turned out to be a pretty great movie – led him to scramble to find a new project, which turned out to be Haywire, after being inspired by seeing Gina Carano fight in an MMA match. Finally, he spoke about his long-gestating director’s cut of Kafka, his largely unseen fictional whatsit that stars Jeremy Irons as the famed author. The film is likely to be released by The Criterion Collection when it’s finished, but Soderbergh is still working on it. In fact, he seems to be always working on something, which is good for us dedicated cinephiles and fans of thoughtful TV. Here’s what he had to say about Kafka:
“I’ve been working on, at no one’s request, ‘Kafka’ for 14 years…I have an idea, I have an approach. It was a movie I was never really happy with even at the time…the tone was uneven. Tone is the hardest thing to maintain.”